“I think safety and security should always be a constant in the school systems. Every school should assess this regularly, and budgets should address the gaps uncovered in the assessments. Keeping people safe at school should be a top priority.” —Lee Osterman, VP of Federal and State Local Education Segments at Wesco
Security breaches have left many communities struggling with profound pain, disbelief, and helplessness. The scars they leave on our collective psyche are long-lasting, making the urgent need for improved safety measures in educational institutions more evident. Amidst the darkness, some people see an opportunity to make a positive impact.
Wesco’s deep expertise in security solutions made its partnership with PASS a natural fit. As a company that provides businesses with solutions to improve their operations, Wesco has expanded its involvement in school safety and security to address more than the immediate problems caused by a security violation. The company uses its expertise and resources to make addressing long-term safety and security in our school systems a reality.
Partnerships have proven to be instrumental in our collective efforts, and this partnership with Wesco is no different. We spoke with Lee Osterman, Wesco’s VP of Federal and State Local Education Segments, to learn more about the company, its commitment to serving our schools, and its partnership with PASS.
Wesco Serves Educational Institutions
Wesco’s mission is to build, connect, power, and protect the world. Delivering ingenuity and expertise to approximately 150,000 customers worldwide, Wesco helps businesses run smoothly by providing solutions that can increase profitability, improve productivity, and mitigate risk. Wesco recently celebrated its centennial year in business and is committed to creating a world that customers can depend on. Not only does Wesco serve as a trusted partner to its customers, but it also serves as an ally in the fight to enhance school safety and security.
In addition to its diverse offerings, Wesco also serves education markets. The company understands that while education facilities are constantly evolving to meet changes in student behavior and technology, keeping campuses safe and secure is equally important, and schools should be where students feel safe and supported. To better serve educational institutions, Wesco offers solutions in five areas: risk management, network performance, student experience, space utilization, and IoT enablement.
Empowering Safer Schools Together
Wesco’s journey with PASS began at the end of 2022 after the organization learned about PASS and its mission through the Security Industry Association (SIA). Since the partnership’s inception, Wesco has actively collaborated with PASS on various initiatives. It has conducted training sessions, both in person and through webinars, which have allowed the business to use the expertise of the PASS team, both internally and externally. Additionally, Wesco has actively promoted PASS at industry events, including ISE West in Denver and the National School Plant Management Association, bringing more attention to the school safety cause.
Osterman shared his insights about how this partnership has supported Wesco’s efforts. He says, “The PASS Guidelines have given us an organized approach to engage with school systems collaboratively. Our sales team can connect with school administrators and provide them with specific material to present and discuss.” This approach benefits Wesco and the schools, empowering them to make informed decisions about their safety and security measures.
Wesco’s commitment goes beyond these actions. It is also actively involved in developing the PASS Guidelines and assessments. For example, David Needham, Wesco’s Director of Technology, is on the PASS technical committee. Tara Dunning, Vice President of Global Security Strategy and Sales at Wesco, is on SIA’s executive board and deeply involved in the relationship between PASS and SIA.
Wesco’s marketing team also works with PASS to promote the assessments and guidelines. Simultaneously, its technical support team actively engages with PASS to explore different technologies. It aims to recommend solutions that make sense and contribute to a safer school environment. It’s clear that Wesco is doing more than just spreading the word about PASS and school safety and security; it is also very hands-on in its efforts.
Osterman has high hopes for the PASS-Wesco partnership: “The long-term goal is that with each new school year, we’ll leverage the partnership to keep safety and security at the forefront. I think safety and security should always be a constant in the school systems,” he said.
A Perfect Pairing
Wesco’s commitment to safer schools is an inspiring example of a corporate partnership that contributes to the greater community. Its collaboration with PASS provides resources and knowledge that school districts can use to make their communities safer.
So, what can we learn from Wesco’s partnership with PASS? According to Lee Osterman, anyone within the industry can form an alliance with PASS and get the guidelines and assessments into the field. He believes the more the members of the security industry–whether they’re distributors, integrators, or organizations like Wesco– talk about these resources, the more we all can contribute to creating a safer school environment.
Together, PASS and Wesco provide valuable resources, expertise, and a vision for a safer, more secure future in our educational institutions. It’s an alliance that empowers and uplifts and is a shining example of how collaboration can make a meaningful difference.
To learn more about our PASS partnership program, visit our website.
The Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) bringing together expertise from the education, public safety, and industry communities to develop and support a coordinated approach to making effective and appropriate decisions with respect to safety and security investments. You can download the complete PASS Guidelines or check out our PASS Safety and Security Checklist for quick start tips. These resources—as well as whitepapers on various topics including barricade devices, lockdown drills, and more—are available at no cost.
Wesco builds, connects, powers, and protects the world. Delivering ingenuity and expertise to approximately 150,000 customers worldwide, we help your business run smoothly by providing solutions that can increase profitability, improve productivity, and mitigate risk. With nearly 1.5 million products and locations in more than 50 countries, Wesco delivers what you need, when you need it.
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The most comprehensive information available on best practices specifically for securing school facilities, vetted extensively by experts across the education, public safety and industry sectors.